CIO Magazine recently ran this article IT Roles Shift with Move to Cloud. An exec summary:
- IT Infrastructure does not create competitive advantage.
- Companies move infrastructure to the cloud to eliminate capital outlay and reduce expenses.
- After moving infrastructure to the cloud, you need a radically different IT staff.
- The “new normal” in IT will increasingly focus on business optimization to differentiate and win.
As directly quoted in the article, “infrastructure does not differentiate us in any way, shape or form in the marketplace,” says Jim Honerkamp, CIO of Steel Technologies. “To be a strategic IT organization, you have to be delivering value in technology tools, either to strengthen customer relationships or to be used as weapons against the competition. All the IT value-add is on the business-analysis side.”
So it got us a-thinking. How does this “new normal in the cloud” specifically apply in post-acute?
- Disaster recovery. As we saw this spring, Disaster Recovery is a major issue in the 24×7 world of post-acute. Knowing your data is safe, secure, backed up, and readily available anywhere is welcome insurance against Mother Nature. Get back on a network after an outage, and you’re back in business. Administering meds from memory is a risk you cannot afford your staff to take.
- Better outcomes. The industry’s transformation to EMR means millions of care transactions are now available for super smart clinical geeks to analyze. In the infrastructure world, we were obsessed with gathering. Now it’s about hunting. Clinical informatics experts tinker with ideas like… What mixtures of meds lead to more falls? What clinical treatments reduce readmissions? What proactive measures result in faster discharge to home care – creating lower overall episodic costs…a hot topic in the universe of bundled payments? Lower cost, higher quality, lower readmissions will be the new differentiators in the outcomes world of healthcare to come, and many providers are gaining an early competitive edge with smart business analytics.
- Workflows. As one provider put it, the digital transformation was a blessing, and a curse. Blessing because they could now see and measure the cost of inefficiency, and a curse because they quickly realized how bad things were. With increasing automation of payables functions, for example, staff were freed up to focus on root causes of bad debt and collections. IT was a strategic partner on the workflow side. IT staff formerly focused on infrastructure were now helping deepen use of software to improve cash flow.
The outsourcing of infrastructure is a smart strategic move for leading providers in post-acute. Analytics, not infrastructure, have unlimited power to differentiate you. As Fran Kirley, President and CEO of Nexion Health offers, “why buy servers when we can use the money to better serve residents and grow our business?”
Got questions? Contact us to hear more about the ROI upside providers experience when outsourcing infrastructure.